Well, I'm short anyway, not wearing shorts though. Brrrr. We went from (95F) a week or so ago to 10C (50F) today. Brrrrrr. But yes, I've read a lot of shorts.
Blood on the Ice by AM Riley (14 pages)
The author wrote this while angsting over the hockey game one night, to be honest I've checked out of the Stanley Cup since there are no Canadian teams involved. Nick is one of the enforcers on the team (big, tough, protects the scorers or takes revenge), one night in Calgary while running back to get his lucky socks he's bitten by a vampire. Now he's an even better player. He's been rooming with Peter who's a speedy little goal scorer for three years and they are best friends but he's been clueless to Pete's attraction to him. When Pete is badly injured in a game he FINALLY clues in to Pete's feelings and they get together. Pete's getting older though and losing his edge, can Nick offer him a way to stay in the game? It's a cute story with a lot of humor and Nick is how you imagine a typically dim jock.
Cookies by Sarah Black (40 pages)
Julio runs a cookie stand at the local farmer's market. This year Kenny Lee (yes, his name is two names, Lee is not his last name) is opening a fancy schmancy cookie stand. He and Julio went to culinary school together and are friends with benefits. However Julio has given up their dream of slow food (fresh ingredients, home-made) and has "sold out" as Kenny Lee sees it, but he also sees that the customers aren't interested in fancy food no matter how delicious, they want cheap, fast, deep fried. They spend a fair amount of time talking and Julio admits he's on anti-depressants and plans on heading back to his family's roots in Belize. He convinces Kenny Lee to come with him. If you like to read about gorgeous cookies and foods and ingredients this is a great book. I did find it a bit preachy about how Americans would rather eat a box of cookies full of artificial ingredients and chemicals than one cookie made from pure butter. Not that I disagree but ...
I also have issues when people just up and move to another country. Hello? I work for a federal government. Believe me, we won't let you just "move" here. You can come for 6 months and we hoof you out. Getting a residency permit is no easy task. Maybe Belize is different (Julio could have had dual citizenship) but I find many books have people who just decide to move to France or Greece and live HEA. That's fine if you already live in Europe, but not so great if you're not a citizen of the EU. I know most people probably don't think twice about this, but working closely with my colleagues who deal with immigration it always stands out for me.
Black Leather by Vic Winter (40 pages)
Axel Grind is a rock band who has been resurrected with a new lead singer 2 years after the former died of an overdose. Ray has been charged with making sure the new young pup stays out of trouble. Ray is NOT thrilled, the kid is cocky, annoying, and he does not want to be anyone's keeper. Before their fist gig Ricky is throwing up when Ray "calms him down" by giving him a blow job. Things are going well, the band is more popular than ever, and he's finding the more time he spends with Ricky he finds he's not as annoying as he thought and his bluster covers up a lot of insecurity. Ricky also admits he's gay and wants more from Ray than just before show BJs. It was an okay read and it was interesting how Ricky starts off as a total asshole and you get to know the real him, as it's all told from Ray's POV.
The Phonebook by Amy Lane (30 pages)
This is a continuation of the story from the Curious anthology, but you can read it as a stand-alone. Ryan has to go on a business trip on his birthday. He's not impressed and Scott less so as he had plans. They are talking on the phone for hours and they've tried phone sex before and it ended up a bust. However Scott sent along some toys for Ryan and they decide Scott should read to him, the only thing they have that fits the bill is the phone book. There is lots of humour as they use innuendo over names in the phone book and eventually it has the desired effect. It was nice to see their relationship develop and it is just a fun read with a bit of a more serious note as Ryan deals with job insecurity and being away from so much and facing up to it. Oh and I adore the new Day Dreams covers from DSP.
Only Words & Any Excuse by Acer Adamson (20 pages each)
These are two stories that follow one on the other. Max is a cop who's having a bad day when a cross dresser stops by to see him. When one of the cops insults Skylar, Max freaks and punches the guy and gets a two week suspension. Later at the bar as he drowns his sorrow he gets razzed and starts a brawl, getting badly cut. He goes to see Skylar, the cross dresser and you find out they have been seeing each other for a few months. However it's Max's first gay relationship and he's not doing so well, sometimes pretends Skylar is a woman and after Sky reprimanding him for being upset with people because they are "only words", he finally admits he loves Sky, even though they are "only words".
The next books is several months later, things are going well, and Max is getting an award from the city but it's the first time he's taking Skylar out with him. He's understandably nervous how Sky will be accepted. However Sky surprises him and shows up in a suit, no make-up, and looking decidedly "manly". While accepting the award Max figures to hell with it and announces to the world that he loves Sky and he makes him a better person and a better cop. Everyone stands and applauds.
Realistic? Ummm. Not likely. LOL He also says Sky never needs to shave. Are their guys with no facial hair (except for some ethnic groups - and Sky's never mentioned to be anything but Caucasian male)? I'm not big on cross dressing stories but I did like how Sky finally forced Max to face up to the fact that Sky was a guy and he was gay. So a bit different but decent reads.